If you follow me on instagram, then you know that I’ve been journaling for the last few years. I revved things up this past spring and started a journaling challenge, where I committed to journaling everyday for 21 days. I documented myself journaling every single day, and later down the line, began to share some journaling prompts that helped me along the way.
To give you a little bit of back story, I deal with really limiting beliefs. I didn’t grow up in a home where I was affirmed and validated. I am my own worst critic, and it has really held me back. I started therapy in September of 2018 while living in LA, and I had a sudden transition back to my home-town of Atlanta. I couldn’t visit my therapist, and so I really needed an outlet. I noticed journaling was really helping me through some tough thoughts.
As a person who struggled with validation and affirmation, I realized when I would go through something, I felt I needed to talk it out with someone, sometimes anybody that would listen. And if I didn’t get the answer or response that I was wanting, I would keep re-hashing the story/scenario. Most times after re-hashing the story, I STILL didn’t feel better. I actually felt worse. I even started to feel like the people I was “venting” to where always looking for me to have drama or something bad going on. Sometimes not everyone is meant to hear what you have going on. Some stuff you just need to work through yourself. This was a harsh truth.
When I started to journal everyday, I would recount my day. What was I feeling? What was making me sad, mad, angry? What was weighing on my mind, who was making me feel “a way,” what was I struggling with professionally, personally, etc. I approached my journal is if it was my homegirl, and i was venting to her, in the same way I would with certain people.
Once I got it all out on paper, I would go back and re-read what I wrote. To me this was the magic in my healing. Re-reading what I wrote, made me make connections that I may not have otherwise made. There were certain thought patterns that carried over for days and weeks. I would reflect on these and determine if these patterns were really serving me or not.
For instance, when it comes to romantic relationships, I tend to over-give. I feel like I have to prove I’m a good “catch,” instead of just naturally being who I am. I wasn’t allowing men to pursue me, because I felt like I had to do the pursuing or they would disappear. I realized this came from not having a dad around. So maybe subconsciously, I felt that I had to prove I was worthy enough of a man sticking around.
If I did more, or “was” more, maybe my Dad would have stuck around. I had to realize that this is so far from the truth, and that I don’t have to prove myself to a man. I just have to be who I am, and if he enjoys me for me, then cool. If not, goodbye.
In business I realize that I the person people see me as, is NOT the same person I see myself as. My peers think I’m incredibly talented and worthy of the praise and all the coins. However, for a long time, I didn’t think I was as talented as I actually am. I would compare myself to other, bigger names in my field. I was never good enough, i always had a long way to go. So I would not go after certain jobs, clients, opportunities, because I didn’t feel like I was good enough. Obviously, you can see how this was a problem. Everyone who started at the same level or below me, were surpassing me. Sometimes these people weren’t as talented as me, but the difference was, was that they believed in themselves.
Journaling helped me through that. I began to see how I was holding myself back. How would I ever know if I could accomplish something, if I didn’t at least try. I remember after one session, saying “Okay, I’ve had enough, I’m going to reach out to photo editors as a few digital media companies to see if I can shoot some content for them during fashion week.” This was during a time of journaling for about a year. I drummed up the courage, found the email addresses of 10 editors, emailed them and hoped for the best.
That year I only got 2 responses back, both telling me thanks, but no thanks. I felt accomplished though! I’m usually too scared to put myself out there, and I did it, and that felt good. That deserved a celebration. [Fast forward to January, I got an email that they had remembered me and wanted to use me to cover that season’s’ street style. Look at that!] I don’t think I would have gave it ago, if I didn’t make an intentional effort to get over the thoughts that were holding me back.
We cannot make progress if we refuse to take inventory on the things that are holding us back. How can we do better in our finances, if we never address how we spend our money? How can we do better in our quest to lose weight, if we don’t address what we eat or how often we work out?
That’s what journaling has done for me. It helped me to have a safe space to take inventory, without the judgment or opinions of others. It’s been a place to release and I immensely feel better after the words hit the paper. I can see a change in my self-worth, the way I process things, how I feel about myself. It’s like exercise for my brain.
Wanna give it a try, but not sure how to start?
If you’re not sure how to get started, here are 21-journaling prompts that can help you to begin. Click here to download or screenshot and pull it up for reference when you sit down to start writing!
I share this in hopes that if you too are struggling with some limiting beliefs ,that you find space to give journaling a try. Try your own 21-day journaling challenge and be sure to come back here and let me know how it goes!
It helped me to have a safe space to take inventory, without the judgment or opinions of others.
- K A Y E